The Middle Street Quarters

On May 15, 1854, Warren Engine Company #1 was formed in the new Village of Warren NY. On September 1st, 1854 the Village of Warren purchased from Mr. Isaiah Millburn a building at 36 Middle Street. The firehouse cost $700.00 and was in service for 82 years. The home to Warren Engine #1, Triumph Hose #2, and Cosgriff Hose #4, it was closed when the Municipal Building opened in 1937. The building has since been torn down.

As you can see in the picture above, the bay door has been bricked over, but is quite visible. The flagstaff also still remains. At $700.00, the price was high for those days, but the location on Middle Street was centralized and would have been a valuable location at that time. After we vacated this building in 1883, the Triumph Hose Company #2 was to move in.

Rescue Hook and Ladder Company #1 was formed and responding from Liberty Street, its funding was by popular subscription. On March 3, 1857 Union Engine Company #2 was formed and joined the Department. On May 22, 1858 a contract was awarded to erect quarters for Union Engine Company #2 on Division Street, the 2nd firehouse in the Village.  Soon after, Rescue Hook and Ladder Co #1, would join the Fire Department and suitable quarters for a Hook and Ladder were added to the Division Street fire house. Union and Rescue would respond from Division Street until Lady Warren and Mutual Hose were formed.

In 1878, a contract was awarded for $900.00 to erect a suitable house for Rescue #1. At this time, Rescue was on Liberty Street after Lady Warren and Mutual Hose formed and had moved into Division Street. By 1880, a new Firehouse was erected for them opposite General Warren on the North side of Middle Street.

At meeting of the Board of Trustees held March 6th, 1882 a resolution was passed to raise the sum of $1000 for the purpose of purchasing a suitable house for General Warren Engine Company No. 1 and passed by the taxpayers on March 22nd.

This new building was built on the west side of Rescue in 1883 and the Foreman was advised at meeting of the Village Board of December 5th, 1883 that the new house was ready for use.

At meeting of the Board held January 7, 1884 the Foreman, Frederick Glassing, Jr. was presented with 36 keys for new engine house for No. 1. The company was still in possession of the hand engine and several more cisterns had been constructed throughout the village one of which was in the street in front of the new fire-house. General Warren’s quarters on the left, or west side of the building.

In 1980, filming for the movie Ragtime was to commence on Middle Street. The production required a firehouse and infrastructure circa 1910. The Middle Street location was ‘transformed’ using set peices and was where Coalhouse Walker Jr. was and his car were waylaid by the firemen. Ragtime was to be nominated for 8 Academy Awards including Best Art Direction and Set Decoration.